Disabled passengers left stranded on planes will not get compensation says Heathrow

first_imgHeathrow Airport’s chief executive has said disabled passengers who are left stranded on planes will not get compensation, after BBC journalist Frank Gardner complained of being stuck after staff misplaced his wheelchair.CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “I don’t think it’s reasonable that we should take financial responsibility,” and set a 20-minute target in which disabled passengers should be helped off the plane after landing.He told BBC Five Live disabled passengers should be able to leave the plane “20 minutes after everybody else has got off.”Mr Gardner said he was left waiting for 100 minutes because his wheelchair had been misplaced by ground staff, and claimed Heathrow would not act to change its treatment of disabled people without a financial penalty.The chief executive said in this case, the wheelchair had been mislabeled, and that was why it was taken to the correct place. The BBC’s security correspondent lost the use of his legs in 2004 after being shot six times by militants while reporting in Saudi Arabia.On Saturday morning, when he landed at the London airport, his wheelchair was mistakenly taken to the terminal instead of to the plane door. Grateful to CEO of @HeathrowAirport John H-K for listening patiently today to what disabled passengers encounter thru UK airports. We’ve identified 3 areas where improvements can be made. A good start.— Frank Gardner (@FrankRGardner) March 25, 2018 He tweeted: “That is your legs gone. It is a basic human right.”Mr Gardner explained: “I am so utterly sick of @HeathrowAirport ground staff ‘losing’ my wheelchair.”Over 70 mins after landing back from Ethiopia I’m still stuck on an empty plane while they try to find it Just when is UK’s premier airport going to stop treating disabled passengers this way?”The journalist said the airport has a “casual disregard” for disabled passengers and said it was “a disgrace to British airports.”A Heathrow spokesman said: “We apologise unreservedly if the service Mr Gardner received today fell short of the experience we aim to provide to our passengers.”We are working with the responsible airline to investigate what went wrong in this case.” I am so utterly sick of @HeathrowAirport ground staff ‘losing’ my wheelchair. Over 70 mins after landing back from Ethiopia I’m still stuck on an empty plane while they try to find it Just when is UK’s premier airport going to stop treating disabled passengers this way? pic.twitter.com/f84wXCgXKB— Frank Gardner (@FrankRGardner) March 24, 2018 He said Heathrow Airport is “committed to making sure that any passengers travelling through Heathrow will have a good experience, and will be treated with dignity and respect.””We want to be seen as the best airport in the world for passenger service. We’ve made huge improvements, but clearly we have more to do, and I’m committed to doing that.” Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings.last_img read more